Friday, November 28, 2014

Nothing to kick about

The Iron Bowl is the annual football game pitting the clearly superior University of Alabama and the woeful, makeshift team from some college called Auburn.  In all honesty, I can't even tell you how I became an Alabama fan, but there is something about college football, and when you connect with one team and go for the ride, it's a thrill a minute all through the fall.

This year's installment will be played tomorrow night at 8 on ESPN and I will be sure to watch and will also be sure to have dinner first.

Here's why:

Griffith (99)
Last year, the game came down to the final second in regulation play.  The score was tied 28-28 and Alabama asked freshman placekicker Adam Griffith to boot a 57-yard field goal and win the game.  We all know how that turned out.   You can watch the CBS coverage here if you really want to.  The kick fell just a bit short, and Chris Davis from Auburn ran it back for a winning touchdown and while I stood in the kitchen at home, staring at the TV in dumbstruck disbelief, the cream of mushroom soup I was heating for dinner boiled up and out of the saucepan, resulting in a mess that took quite some time to clean up.  It was awful. I don't think I've had mushroom soup at home since.
They showed this guy on TV and he symbolizes the despair of 'Bama fans everywhere

But here's something about that kick, and that kicker.  Seven years before that game, there was a young man then known as Andrzej Debowski, living in a sad Polish orphanage.   Life there was miserable, to put it mildly.  But in Calhoun, Georgia, a married couple of math teachers, Tom and Michelle Griffith, figured that 2 + 1 would = a good 3, so they adopted Andrzej and brought him to America, where he chose the first name "Adam" to go with his new surname.  He kicked for his high school team, won the state championship with them, and walked onto the Alabama team and kicks for them, wearing number 99.

When you read about the young man's earlier days, and how the love of his new parents changed everything for him, you'll see that losing a football game is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.

Still, I hope he is much happier this time Sunday morning!

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